Cyprus President arrives in New York to attend dinner with Guterres and Akinci

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades arrived late on Saturday in New York, where he is attending, together with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, a dinner, hosted by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. SG and the leaders are expected to review the present situation in Cyprus talks and discuss the way forward.

The President is accompanied by Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides. Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis is also attending the dinner and is expected to arrive in New York later today.

The President made no statements upon his arrival. According to diplomatic sources, he will chair a meeting this morning with close associates and diplomats from Cyprus’ Permanent Representation, to prepare for the dinner.

It is not yet known whether Espen Barth Eide, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for Cyprus, will have any contacts with the two sides ahead of the dinner, which sources estimate it will last for about 3 hours. The dinner is scheduled to commence at 7pm local time (11pm GMT).

Diplomatic sources also reveal that Eide had a long telephone conversation with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and is expected to pay a visit to Athens this Tuesday.

On Monday morning, the UN envoy will also brief the Security Council Permanent Members, upon the request of the British delegation. He is also scheduled to meet on Monday with the Turkish Permanent Representative to the UN, Feridun Sinirlioglu.

En route to New York, President Anastasiades had a stop-over in London, where he met on Saturday evening with former British Prime Minister David Cameron.

As CNA learns, the two men discussed the forthcoming dinner in New York and the main challenges in the effort to reach a Cyprus settlement, particularly with regards to the issue of security and guarantees, as well as over Ankara’s demand to extend the four EU freedoms to Turkish nationals.

Cameron said he remained at President Anastasiades’ disposal for any kind of support in matters where the British government has a say in. CNA learns that he promised to highlight Nicosia’s positions to British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson as regards security and guarantees and the four EU freedoms.

The two men also discussed next week’s elections in Britain as well as Brexit and future EU-UK relations. The meeting was held prior to the terrorist attack in the British capital.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci have been engaged in UN-backed talks since May 2015 with a view to reunify the island under a federal roof.

Source: Cyprus News Agency